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Wrapup: New Zealand/Australia pencil month

Some thoughts about the pencils we’ve looked at this past month…

It’s great that Australia still has a pencil manufacturing plant (Staedtler). There were a number of pencil plants in Canada some years ago, but they have all since departed. Going way back, Thoreau’s pencils used Canadian graphite for a while. Today, the Pink Pearl eraser seems to be the only Canadian made pencil item I can find. Papermate sells a “Canadiana” pencil – but it’s imported.

All the branded pencils are offered by German companies – Staedtler, Faber-Castell, Stabilo. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m somehow surprised.

The Tradition 110 would easily be my choice as the best of the lot. Most of the pencils are average.

I like the idea of a series of reviews, but the average pencils were challenging to write about, so I’ll be more selective before trying this approach again.

And for anyone who has read this far – the server stats tell me the blog readership grows monthly, and it is among the top results in many Google searches – but the comments and discussion don’t reflect this. Would anyone be interested in either a mailing list or forum devoted to pencils? Another format might be better at preserving some of the accumulated knowledge and opinion, and encouraging discussion.

2 comments to Wrapup: New Zealand/Australia pencil month

  • In my childhood, we also had English pencils in New Zealand – Lakeland, Cumberland, etc. I think these are brands of Derwent, but you don’t see them anymore.

    I too sometimes think it is strange how the German pencil companies dominate the local market, but then Germany is the worlds biggest exporter, and who is their international opposition? Until a few years ago I never knew Papermate made wooden pencils, Dixon, Berol, Eagle, you name it – none of them ever pursued any export market in this part of the world. I guess its just one reflection of how the German economy is very export orientated and the US economy was (is?) very domestic.

  • “Would anyone be interested in either a mailing list or forum devoted to pencils? Another format might be better at preserving some of the accumulated knowledge and opinion, and encouraging discussion.”

    Regarding this: I would gladly join such a forum (I’ve actually googled “pencil forum” a couple of times to find one), but not a mailing list. I’m happy to discuss pencils, and I’m generally positive to internet forums. How would this come about? Doesn’t seem you have gotten any responses on your request. That’s sad.

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